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Bulls Try to Clinch Season Series vs. Cavs with Boozer's Return

By Angie Wiatrowski in News on Jan 22, 2011 9:30PM

Just as they were getting their groove and dominating the court, the Bulls lost their star inside scorer yet again. After a game-winning three-pointer from Kyle Korver leading the Bulls to a victory over the Miami Heat Jan. 16, the injury-prone Boozer rolled his ankle and left the U.C. that night in a walking boot. As a result, he did not travel to Memphis with the team that Monday but is now anticipated to return against the Cavaliers tonight.

The Boozer-less Bulls went on to beat the Grizzlies 96-84 but once again fell to Michael Jordan’s Bobcats 82-83 the following game.

Boozer is no stranger to injuries, and not just with the Bulls. During his six-season run in Utah, Boozer missed nearly one third of the games (138 of 492). In his eight professional seasons before joining the Bulls he missed 145 games. Not to mention breaking his right hand Oct. 2, missing the first two months of the Bulls' season.

It’s a good thing Tom Thibodeau has built up his bench as the Bulls were able to survive and pull out an 82-77 win over the Mavericks Thursday without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.

All-Star point guard Derrick Rose has continued to lead the Bulls as he scored 26 points, had 9 assists and 7 rebounds vs. the Mavericks. Luol Deng stepped up in a time of need with 7 points and 12 rebounds along with Taj Gibson and Kurt Thomas (9 points, 11 rebounds).

Boozer is proud of his team as well in his and Noah’s absence, telling, “Everybody’s played great. Taj [Gibson has] been averaging 5 blocks a game, Big Omer [Asik has] been playing phenomenal as well and ‘old school’ - Kurt Thomas - has been playing great, too. Everybody’s been really good, we got two good wins.”

The Bulls managed to win two of three games without Boozer and have been without their leading rebounder, Noah (right thumb).

Not only will Boozer’s return be beneficial tonight, but the fact that the Cavaliers are trying to avoid losing 16 in a row for the first time in nearly 30 years is a plus. Cleveland has also lost 19 consecutive road games since beating New Jersey Nov. 9.

The Bulls have beaten the Cavaliers twice this season, winning 88-83 in Cleveland Dec. 9 and 100-91 at the United Center on New Year’s Day. The Bulls can also clinch the season series with a win tonight.